Injury Watch: Dallas Braden & Rich Harden
By Joseph Lopez
It was only a matter of time before the injury bug that resides in the Oakland clubhouse started taking a bit out of the A’s roster. Oakland starter Dallas Braden is reportedly dealing with some discomfort in his shoulder. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes in a recent article that the A’s lefty could potentially miss his next start if his shoulder “stiffness” improves for the better.
This isn’t something the Athletics need at the moment, as their pitching staff has been their biggest strength this season. Oakland’s team ERA (2.70) leads the majors, and A’s starters have logged 9 quality starts this season, which ranks 5th in baseball.
Braden, 27, has been solid so far this season, going 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA through three starts. The A’s are hoping that their veteran lefty, who threw a perfect game last Mother’s Day, will not miss too much time. Oakland’s rotation will definitely have a void to fill if Braden misses some time.
Tyson Ross and Bobby Cramer are potential candidates for the job to help fill in for Braden is Braden is out due to injury. Ross and Cramer were originally in the running for the No.5 starter’s job during spring training, but both eventually lost out to Brandon McCarthy. Ross has played in three games this season, and currently owns a 3.00 ERA through five innings pitched. Cramer, meanwhile, has a 2.45 ERA through 3.2 innings pitched this year.
In other news, the A’s have Rich Harden currently on the disabled-list. Harden, 29, who came back to Oakland on a one-year $1.5 million deal this winter, has yet to pitch this season for the green-and-gold. He’s been sidelined with a strained lat muscle, and has been dealing with the injury since February.
That’s nothing new for Harden, as his career has been filled with various injuries. The A’s right-hander hopes to get healthy soon so that he can join a very strong Oakland pitching staff.